The short question is: if I have an app (Chrome) that keeps on crashing on app start up, how do I reinstall the app totally so it will run again? (removing the app and download and reinstall won't work).

The long question is:

I have an iMac on the top floor of the house, in California, and some days the thermometer showed a max temperature of 39C (which is 102F). That day, when I see the Google Chrome window, I clicked on it, and it crashed.

At that time, the temperature of the room is probably around 36C.

So to prevent any further damage to the computer, I shut it down and wait until the next day in the morning to power the computer up again.

But now Google Chrome will start up and immediately crash. I tried going to the Applications folder, delete the whole app, and use Firefox to download Google Chrome from the Internet again to install it. But the same thing happened. Install, reboot, app crashed. Reboot again, run the app again, and it crashed again. I reinstalled the app for about 3 times total.

And since it might be related to the app setting data having some issue that caused the app to keep on crashing, I found the folder where the app data sits: ~/Library/Application Support/Google, and I renamed it to ~/Library/Application Support/00G00gle and tried and removed the app and downloaded the app and reinstalled it. But still it crashed.

So is there a way to totally reinstall the app in this case to make it work again?

4 Answers 4


AppZapper allows you to remove all of the files associated with an application. The free version allows you to remove an app only 5 times, but check it out and see if it solves your issue.

  • is there a way to zap it myself without installing yet another app? Jul 15, 2013 at 4:07
  • Instead of renaming ~/Library/Application Support/Google, try deleting it? Posts like this one mention that removing the ~/Library/Application Support/Google files seems to solve their issues, so give that a shot. Jul 15, 2013 at 4:29
  • @sameetandpotatoes, But this wouldn't make sense.
    – Pacerier
    Dec 14, 2017 at 9:11

A great free app can help you delete an app and all of the files associate with it is AppCleaner.



You could also try deleting ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.google.Chrome.savedState. Here's a script that removes all support files I could find:

rm -r /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app
rm -r ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/Chrome
rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/CrashReporter/Google\ Chrome*
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome*
rm ~/Library/Preferences/Google\ Chrome*
rm -r ~/Library/Caches/com.google.Chrome*
rm -r ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.google.Chrome.savedState
rm ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/Actives/com.google.Chrome
rm ~/Library/Google/Google\ Chrome*
rm -r ~/Library/Speech/Speakable\ Items/Application\ Speakable\ Items/Google\ Chrome

If that doesn't work, try running sudo opensnoop and then opening Chrome.

  • interesting, so opensnoop can see what files are being read or touched, so run it and start up Chrome and see what files are being used that is related to the crash and remove those files? so I could use sudo opensnoop | grep -i chrome to see what is involved, it seems Jul 15, 2013 at 9:00

You could also have a look at CleanMyMac, rather than just removing the application it will also remove associated files and folders.

It will also find old files associated with applications that have already been removed.

Not only that it is a good tool for removing unwanted large files, needless files and freeing up disk space.

I would have a look at that and then see if the problem persists.

  • "needless files" don't really exist.
    – Alexander
    Mar 31, 2014 at 19:06
  • They are needless if you don't have the app installed anymore, that was kind of the point. CleanMyMAc is very useful, although paid, AppZapper does the same job more or less, as does AppCleaner.
    – John E
    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:30
  • Those plist files are MINISCULE. I'd be surprised if they totalled over 1MB for all of them.
    – Alexander
    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:50
  • True but if you want complete removal of an app for a fresh install then getting rid of them is important. File size is probably not really the main concern in this case.
    – John E
    Apr 3, 2014 at 12:44

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